Monday, February 06, 2006

First Bombs, Now Ricin

Chetanand SewrazRemember Chetanand “Ashley” Sewraz? The young fellow from Mauritius, now living in Chesterfield County, Virginia, whose dispute with his wife had escalated to bombs?

Well, thanks to The Richmond Times-Dispatch we now know that his middle name is “Kumar”.

And we also know that he was manufacturing ricin in his home in the suburbs of Richmond.

Ricin was found Jan. 20 in the home of Chetanand Kumar Sewraz in the 14000 block of Fortune Ridge Court in the Brandermill subdivision, police said yesterday.

Ricin, which has potential to be used as an agent of biological warfare, is widely available, easily produced and derived from the beans of the castor plant. Chesterfield police spokeswoman Ann P. Reid said the ricin found in the Brandermill home was in a semi-solid mash form and poses no threat to the public.

Police said a dispute between Sewraz and his estranged wife, Mariea Gamble, became public Dec. 13, when he swore out warrants charging her with making a threatening phone call to him and threatening to burn or destroy his house or vehicle. Gamble, 22, surrendered five days later and was released that day.

On Jan. 9, Chesterfield police charged Sewraz, 24, with abduction and domestic assault. He was jailed without bond.

The strangest part of the story is the following sentence:

Chesterfield County police say the discovery of the toxin ricin in a home is related to a domestic dispute.

A domestic dispute? That must have been a hell of a marriage! Never mind throwing the crockery; bombs and ricin were the weapons of choice. Do you think they’ll find a suitcase nuke from Tajikistan in the basement?

In my initial report last month, I said that there was no indication that this story was jihad-related, and the consensus of the commenters was that this was a marital battle, albeit a strange one.

But ricin?

And now I wonder about “Kumar” — I had thought that it was a Pakistani name, and not a Hindu one. Can any of our South Asian readers enlighten me on this?

The story concludes with:

The investigation is continuing.

Well, I hope so. I wish I could say the same for mine. But, except for the meager supply of RT-D stories, almost all the Google trails lead here to Gates of Vienna.

If anybody has any more tips, by all means send them in.

Hat tip: alert Reader J.S.


Pastorius said...

I hadn't ever heard of Hindus interested in Ricin before.

X said...

There are muslims with names like Kumar. It's common enough for Indians to keep using traditionally Hindu names even when they've converted to Islam.

linearthinker said...

Name origins could be a good start, but this is clearly a mission for the CTU...turn it over to Jack Bauer.

Baron Bodissey said...

immigrant, ik --

Thanks for the info. This whole business is still a perplexing mystery to me.

Baron Bodissey said...

Fa'Jing --

The point is that a Hindu is far less likely to use ricin and bombs for terrorism than a Muslim. That's the only reason it's significant.